This past weekend I competed in my first powerlifting meet at Solcana CrossFit, which is run my friend Coach Hannah.
The meet was geared towards first-timers and consisted of twelve men and twelve women, most of whom came from Solcana, CrossFit Rigor,Twin Town Fitness and Los Campeones Gym.
My Freeze Fest partner Erin convinced me via Facebook guilt to sign up. It was a great way to support Coach Hannah’s gym and also put my focused weight-lifting work since July, and especially the Texas Method, to the test.
Plus, the competition was promised to be friendly and less intimidating, especially since I knew at least half the competitors.
Many of the volunteers loading the weights and keeping score were my friends and coaches.
The power lifting meet consists of three lifts: the back squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. You get three attempts at each lift.
In addition to successfully lifting the weight, you must also make sure you follow the rules and have proper form.
There were three judges at the competition and you needed to get a green lift from two out of three for your lift to count.
There are commands given for when to lift, when to rack the bar and others. You have to listen and not jump the gun as they are looking for control.
The biggest rule of the day was DON’T DROP THE BAR. It was repeated over and over, but for good measure as a matter of safety and not damaging equipment.
I expected the power lifting meet to be pretty casual, but it was totally legit. They had quite a few volunteers from USA Powerlifting (USAPL), who donated their time and brought in all the necessary equipment.
There was a photographer on site, guys to load the bar, multiple judges, a scorekeeper and others all pitching in.
We even got weighed in at the start of the meet. It helped give us all a taste of what the official competitions are like but in a familiar environment.
As for my performance, first up was the back squat. On the first two attempts, I got one red light each time because I racked the bar before they gave the command.
Thankfully I wasn’t alone as many people were getting tripped up by the cues. My weight on the first two was conservative, but on the third attempt I went for 242.5 pounds and I got it!
This was my first PR for the day and up 17.5 pounds from the beginning of August when I last tested my one rep max.
The lift felt really good and since I wasn’t too red in the face or tearing up, I think I could have attempted even more, but I happily took the PR.
The bench press was not as successful. I hit my first two attempts at 154 pounds and 170 pounds.
However, my third attempt was at approximately 181.8 pounds and I missed. My score from the second attempt then was all that counted.
I didn’t mind too much as the bench is the most difficult for me of the three lifts, plus I was still riding high from the back squat.
Last came the deadlift. I strategize with one of my friends and decided to go 300 – 330 – 360 respectively for my three lifts. It worked and I hit all three, the last at approximately 358.25 pounds was my second PR for the day.
It’s up 13 pounds and change from my previous PR also from the beginning of August. A few friends watching the lift noted that I had a lot more in my tank, so possibly there’s even more room to go up in my 1 rep max.
The overall meet was really fun and personal satisfying as it demonstrated to me that my focus on strength and lifting these past two and a half months are paying off. It encourages me to keep at it and to keep pushing myself.
The guys I competed with were awesome and all had a great attitude about the competition and were all really supportive and enthusiastic about each other’s success. It was a wide range in terms of height, weight, age and strength so my 10th place finish does not even phase me. It just motivates me for next time.
Overall, it was a great introduction to the world of power lifting meets. Coach Hannah and Coach Sampson organized an excellent event that brought a level of professionalism and authority to what was otherwise a very friendly local competition.
Everyone was already buzzing about the possibility of a follow-up meet and to hit the weight room again very soon… once we were all rested from this one.